Neighborhood NewsGreat Falls - Cascade County


Eye On Great Falls: Open, Closed, In The Works (June 2024)

great falls aerial
Great Falls aerial view
Posted at 10:40 AM, Jun 22, 2024

GREAT FALLS — As you drive around Great Falls, you’ll likely see some new businesses that are open, construction underway for other businesses, and a few new "closed" signs, too. Here's a look at some of them:

Big Dipper Ice Cream opened in downtown Great Falls last week. Big Dipper serves up traditional flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry - and also some less traditional options, including Mexican chocolate, cardamom, bubble gum, and El Salvador coffee. The ice-creamery is at 426 Central Avenue (corner of Fifth Street and Central Avenue). It is open from 11am until 11pm, seven days a week.

Big Dipper Ice Cream opens in downtown Great Falls

Wendy's is building a second Great Falls location, this one at 139 Northwest Bypass, between Domino's Pizza and the Sherwin-Williams Paint Store. Construction got underway several days ago, and they are already beginning the hiring process for the new store. They are planning to open in September 2024. Wendy's first Great Falls location is at 806 Tenth Avenue South.

Wendy's confirms a second location in Great Falls

A King's Kravings in Great Falls is closing permanently. Adonna King began the baking business in early 2023, first operating at Mise En Place, and now for almost a year has been located at 1008 20th Street South near Target. King baked and sold a variety of items, including cookies, bagels, brownies, and scones. The last day of business is scheduled for Saturday, June 22.

A King's Kravings in Great Falls is shutting down

Pizza Ranch is slated to open in Great Falls, featuring a buffet with pizza, chicken and more. It will also have an "arcade zone" of over 5,000 square feet. It will also feature party rooms. Pizza Ranch has stores in Billings and Helena, but the Great Falls location at 2515 10th Avenue South will be the biggest, according to a spokesman who told KRTV: “We'll be taking over Joann Fabric, which is a 15,000 square foot space for us. That will be the largest for us.” The Joann Fabric store is currently undergoing a liquidation sale, and plans to close by the end of June. There is no word yet on where Joann Fabric may relocate, or when it will open.

Joann Fabric in Great Falls
Joann Fabric in Great Falls on Friday, June 21, 2024

Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom has announced plans to open in the former Boston’s Pizza location on Seventh Street South. The new owners plan an extensive remodel, including a casino attached to the restaurant, but with a separate entrance. “Studies show that's a little bit more social than a straight-line bar,” said Mike Malmberg, Vice President of the Johnson Restaurant Group in charge of the Great Falls location. “We’ll have 40 beers on tap along with pizza and taproom fare.” Malmberg says with the craft beers on tap, the restaurant will try to make sure as many of them as possible are local beers. There are currently three Old Chicago locations in Montana - Billings, Bozeman, and Missoula.

Former location of Boston's Pizza
Former location of Boston's Pizza

Coffee Republic has opened a second location in Great Falls. It is located at 1608 Fox Farm Road. The first location opened in 2022 at 3615 10th Avenue South.

Coffee Republic

Construction continues on a new Panda Express restaurant at West Bank Landing along Third Street NW, in between Jersey Mike’s sub shop and the Verizon store. There is no word yet on when it will open. The first Panda Express in Great Falls opened several years ago at 1020 57th Street South on the far east side of town.

Panda Express restaurant at West Bank Landing
New Panda Express at West Bank Landing

Sidequest Arcade Bar opened recently in downtown Great Falls. It features retro video games, pinball machines, and air hockey. It is co-located with The Block restaurant and the new Big Dipper Ice Cream. Sidequest is open Mondays through Sundays, 11am to 11pm. The address is #2 Fifth Street South.

Sidequest arcade-bar opens in Great Falls

Chase Your Dreams VR at 316 Central Avenue in downtown Great Falls is closing. The virtual reality facility opened in February 2020; the last day of business will be June 30, 2024. The owner explained: “The reason for our closing is not out of necessity but rather an exciting new chapter in my life. I am proud to share that I have joined the Air National Guard to continue serving our community. Upon my return, I will be attending the University of Providence, where I will be pursuing a career in medicine as well as sprinting on their Track and Field team.”

'Chase Your Dreams Virtual Reality' is closing

The new Scheels Aim High Big Sky Aquatic & Recreation Center in Great Falls is scheduled to open on Saturday, June 29, 2024. for full facility operations. A formal ribbon-cutting ceremony will be on Friday, June 28, at 5pm, followed by facility tours from 5:30 pm-7 pm. The new facility features a full court gymnasium, eight-lane lap pool, sauna, universal changing rooms, cardio and weight machines, elevated walking track, splash pad, community enrichment classes, group fitness, special events, and a giant water slide. The address is 900 29th Street South (in Lions Park). Click here for information about fees and passes.

Aim High Big Sky Aquatic and Recreation Center

A new business called The Cage opened several weeks ago. It features a softball pitching machine lane, a baseball pitching machine lane, and a lane specific for pitching training. The address is 1128 25th Avenue NE in Black Eagle.

Teh Cage

JB’s restaurant at 1322 10th Avenue South has closed. The tall sign along 10th Avenue South says simply CLOSED. A sign on the door states: CLOSED. THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATRONAGE. JB’S MANAGEMENT AND STAFF. Calls to the business phone number have been met with a busy signal. There is no word on the cause of the closing, nor what might become of the building.

JB's restaurant

Tasty Hot Pot opened on the northwest side of town in March. Customers select a broth, ingredients, and dipping sauce, and then cook them in the hot pot at the table. Beer and wine will also be available. It is at 215 Third Street NW, near Kobe Seafood & Steak and the Staybridge Suites hotel, in the building formerly home to MT Pints.

Tasty Hot Pot restaurant opens in Great Falls

Know of a new business opening in Great Falls, or a big move or change for an existing business? Let us know at